Two months ago, to much fanfare by the progressive community, HHS, if not Dr. Jonathan Gruber, were delighted to report that as of August 15, Obamacare enrolment had hit 7.3 million sign ups, well above the 7.0 million goal.
7.3 million people were signed up for Obamacare as of Aug 15 and paid their premiums, HHS says— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) September 18, 2014
Then a week ago we learned that "projection mistakes were made" after the "Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying - with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror - that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted."
The administration said Monday that around 7.1 million people across the country who picked plans during the current year’s open-enrollment period were still paid up for their coverage. That’s down from the eight million who the administration said had picked plans as of this spring.
Fast forward to today when moments ago Bloomberg reported, that "the Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups."
In other words, "some folks lied" because without the dental plans, the government would have had 6.97 million people with medical insurance under Obamacare, investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform committee calculated, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Blending dental and medical plans let the administration assert that enrollment remained greater than 7 million, the original projection of the Congressional Budget Office. The move also partly obscured the attrition of more than 1 million in the number of people enrolled in medical insurance.
The stunned administration, shocked at being caught in one after another lie, is scrambling to make up a credible story: "Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, said he didn’t have a comment yet, hours after being asked for one."
Maybe they should just let Dr. Gruber explain it all to the dumb American public: after all the voters are so dumb, the difference between 6.9 million and 9.9 million is beyond confusing.
For some, it was clear the administration was about to rig the data:
The administration had supplied information about dental plans separately in earlier disclosures. In May, the government reported that 8 million were signed up for health plans and 1.1 million were in dental coverage.
Then in September, the numbers became less transparent. The Medicare agency’s administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, released a new enrollment figure, obtained from insurance companies participating in the exchanges: 7.3 million people were “enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage,” she said at a hearing by the Republican-led Oversight committee.
Tavenner didn’t elaborate or break out dental plans. Reporters asked a spokesman for her agency, Aaron Albright, for more detail about the number after the hearing: He said he had no additional information about it.
And now, some folks are "appalled"
“After touting 8 million initial sign-ups for medical plans, four months later they engaged in a concerted effort to obscure a heavy drop-out rate of perhaps a million or more enrollees by quietly adding in dental plan sign-ups to exchange numbers,” Republican Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Oversight committee, said in an e-mail from a spokeswoman.
Charles Gaba, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based blogger who backs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and has accurately forecast enrollment, was among those who found Tavenner’s announcement encouraging. He had predicted enrollment would suffer attrition of about 3 percent per month; Tavenner’s figure suggested the rate was lower, only about 2 percent.
“This is FANTASTIC news,” he wrote at the time.
He said yesterday that he is “appalled” to find out dental plans were included in the figure.
And the absolute punchline via Bloomberg: "The 7 million threshold appears to be important for the administration, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a Washington advocacy group aligned with Republicans that has opposed the health law. “It’s a little weird,” Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director, said. “Usually, the goal is for the forecast to hit the reality, but here the reality is being massaged to hit the forecast.”
Yes, just a little weird. "Instead of offering the public an accurate accounting, the administration engaged in an effort to obscure and downplay the number of dropouts,” Darrell Issa said. And consider this is the same administration whose media lackeys went apeshit on Jack Welch who, correctly, blasted the White House for fabricating employment data ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.
Because what we have yet again, is outright and very premeditated data manipulation and fabrication coming from the very top power echelons of the republic.
At least today Philly Fed "10 sigma" beat is the god's honest truth...